It sure has been awhile. Gotta love my consistency. I haven't really been keeping up with the stuff I said i would (no kidding), but I did drive out of town on a rainy day, because of course we did. Why is it that every time I have to drive pretty much anywhere out of town with Ma for anything there’s some sort of inclement weather?
Ma had a doctor’s appointment out of town because that’s where all the specialists are, but per our usual luck, there was a storm on the way. According to the weather apps, it would be chasing us out of town if we hurried after the appointment so I had high hopes. Shame on me. The really odd thing about it all is that even though the sky turned black and the rain started falling faster than the wipers could clear, we actually did miss the worst parts.
We left Albuquerque around the time when people are getting off work, so I already knew traffic was going to be a mess. The rain started and stopped like it always does. It was either nothing or the entire waterfall. It seemed that most of the drivers didn’t care that the ground was wet or that visibility was low, or that the wind was high, or that there were cars in front of them. So completely normal. I’d say I almost got run off the road a few times, but I can stand with the best of them. They’ll either wait for me to get out of the way on my own time or they’ll get tracked down and arrested for murder.
Passing semi trucks was no day at the beach. They kicked up a lot of water that made visibility even worse. All I could think to tell myself was that I knew the road was there and if I made it to the front wheels I could see again and all would be well. So I popped a Mentos (not sponsored) and pressed on. (Mentos do not increase your bravery or improve your driving skills, they’re just minty and delicious) Driving blind isn’t fun.
Around one of the towns, a police officer flew onto the interstate and took off down the road. I watched him for as long as I could. I liked the fact that there was something I could easily keep track of all the way off into the horizon because his lights were so bright, but I could only watch him for a little while before he was gone.
Somewhere down the interstate I came across a large group of vehicles. The big trucks were in a line waiting for the other vehicles to get around, everyone recklessly jockeying for the best position while one two people held them up, one slowly passing the other. I decided to take a bathroom break. I obviously wasn’t getting around them anyway. When we got back on the road, I found out where the cop was going. Seemed there was a silver pickup that had rolled over, either due to the rain or the wind or maybe both.
As we entered into another county, Ma’s phone went off notifying us that there was a tornado in the area, take shelter now. I was hoping it was in a different area since her GPS wasn’t turned on, but I knew better. Smartphones always know where they are. Of course, I always wonder where one is supposed to take shelter when they’re literally in the middle of nowhere. No houses, no businesses, no ditches, just a side of the road in a car. And if my only shelter is a car, I’m going to keep moving. We’re basically in a steel roll cage. I think car frames are still made of steel. That’s gotta be safer than being out in the open, right?
My phone has the GPS on so it’s more pinpointed to an area, so when mine went off as I watched the winds increase even more sending lines of water shooting across the road, I got even more scared than that time Ma made me drive home during winter storm Goliath. The tornado was coming.
I mean, we lived, obviously. I was just really tense all the way home. I never saw that tornado. Not sure how close we were to it either, but that’s the kind of energy that anyone can feel. It just screams danger. A friend of mine said she didn’t know which trip was worse, the snow storm or the tornado. I’d still go with the blizzard because I never got stuck in the water and I only had to slow down for a few miles at a time. This trip took a little over 4 hours (an hour over normal) versus Goliath that took 15 hours (10 hours over normal), but I think driving next to a tornado is a pretty close second.
YA Fantasy author and amateur photographer living in New Mexico. A reflection of herself, her characters are timid at first but tend to stand up and push through when times get tough.